Self-enslavement masquerading as loyalty

Raymond Dele Awoonor-Gordon

Sierra Leone telegraph: 3 August 2017

We are a genetically narcissistic people. Status over substance indeed. And we don’t like any truth that doesn’t reinforce that mindset. Sad.‬ Self-enslavement masquerading as loyalty is our present day reality. A truly sad reality.

However, it will be a catastrophic act of self-harm that will turn our dream faster than a downpour nightmare if we fail to seize the initiative from the professional politicians that are taking us for a ride.

This is what I had to say some time ago: “If you’ve got a pebble in your shoes, something is really irritating you, and you need to get rid of it. We can pretend that all is well with Sierra Leone as much as we want. Sooner than later, the pebble in our shoes will get beyond irritation and begin to give us blisters”.

I guess that irritation is what is manifesting in the increasing agitation to get rid of the two major political parties, and indeed most of the political bed hoppers that have dominated our politics and dragged us to the present national malaise.

Sierra Leoneans are eager to believe in change, but change must mean that the status quo that led the country to the current uncertainty and stagnation will be completely overturned to create more efficient sustainable, accountable and functional socio-political and economic institutions.

Life can’t be lonely if we have people who can have the attributes of God; just 2% of his attributes. But we don’t and that is the problem.

What we have are pathological, congenital liars, disloyal, dishonest, selfish, arrogant and bloody greedy kleptomaniacs and hungry hyenas. I mean a bally lot of unpatriotic power-crazy goblins.

So, as professional political massagers – bootlickers, continue to graze the tender ego of potential ‘leaders’ and hold hands to do what they preach best, I am deeply worried about happenings on the landscape as we scurry towards 2018 – because we are a microcosm of the microcosm of our polity.

My fear also stems from the fact that we are not morally rearmed to examine what we are collectively doing wrong that needs urgent attention, for corrections; since a society is a product and reflection of its inhabitants.

I realise that as another opportunity arises for us to change the course of our history and move a step forward towards the new Sierra Leone that some of us desire, we are not looking inward with sustainable reflections to rewrite our ugly history.

How did we get into this mess? How can we get out of this predicament? How did the enabling environment of our childhood turn into a cesspool of corruption and mediocrity before our eyes?

I am more than afraid of the consequences of the belated but mad rush to get strange bed-fellows together, all in the effort to ensure that the parliament of unconscionable leaders who have traded away our potentials and raped our country are replaced.

Positive change is truly a process. But the question is: have we started the journey at all?

Effectiveness in leadership is how the human race got here. And it is how it is going to move forward. Are we really and truly looking beyond tribalism, party loyalty and other hindrances in the search for a credible and worthy leader that can sacrificially steer the nation in truth, towards our goal in the next dispensation?

Apart from getting rid of the existing political parties, how many of those who are forming leadership in the country to date, are actually not a force of resistance?

How many of them have technically abandoned old worn out clichés, contribute effectively and visibly to national improvement, and do not undertake or condone wanton communal looting or political machinations, while masquerading as leaders?

In our quest to borrow alien politi¬cal concepts, we ended up with a system in which our Presidents run with the mentality of emperors and kings.

This development has negatively affected the leadership recruitment processes, blurred vision and even appreciation of what should be, by the citizenry who currently only struggle to be peripheral collaborators in the veiled game that short-changes them.

We need to honestly look at ourselves as a people. Let’s start calling a spade a spade and nothing else. That may be the first step we need to take on the daunting journey of moral re-orientation, with a moral reset as the ultimate destination.

Our behavioural anomaly which triggered the slide of our mess and which has been left unchecked for so long, has become so pervasive and has fully taken a life of its own. It is deeply embedded in our psyche that it is proving difficult to reverse.

That is the serious conundrum we now face as we match towards next year’s election. I mean, how would any of those clamouring for power, sincerely accept a change, when the leader they are replacing has not only cornered everything, but keeps all the advantages while fighting to remain the leader to boot, either by proxy or through sheer unbridled narcissism.

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